Showing posts sorted by relevance for query regulator. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query regulator. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Chasing Intermittent Tiger Stalling: Checking Motorcycle Electrical Systems

I'm starting to think the stalling issues I'm experiencing on my Triumph Tiger might be an electrical issue.  The onboard computer isn't giving me any error codes, but when I rev it the lights on dash dim a bit, which shouldn't happen.

Motorcycle electrical systems are, like many aspects of motorcycling, a simplified and often more high maintenance version of what you see in a car where the extra space and size means you can make things modular, more self contained and cheaper to rebuild.

Instead of packing everything into an alternator running off the engine via a belt, motorcycles break things up to minimize drag on their smaller engines (belt driven systems suck a log of energy out of a small motor).  A bike will typically put a generator inside the motor on the engine crank so if the motor is turning over the generator is using magnets to generate electricity from the spinning motion.  This produces alternate current but, like cars, bikes generally use direct 12v current, so they need something to change the AC to DC.

Regulator/Rectifiers not only switch your power generation from alternating to direct current but they also regulate it so your battery is receiving a steady 14.5 volts on charge.  A failing reg/rec can overcharge or undercharge your battery.

The flakiness of my situation (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't) suggests that this is a connection issue.  Before I start replacing parts I'm going to chase down all the connections, Dremel them clean and refasten everything properly.  If I'm still getting stalls and weird light dimming I'll test components one by one until I've isolated the flakey bit.

I teach computer technology as my day job and a flakey power supply (which also converts wall AC to in-computer DC) can produce some very unusual and difficult to track problems in a computer.  This feels like that.

There is nothing magic about how electricity works, but many people are really jumpy about it.  I've found that a rigorous, step-by-step analysis will usually uncover even the flakiest of electrical failures.  It will again here too.


Analysing engine stalling in powersports motors 

How to know if your regulator/rectifier is failing

How a motorcycle electrical system works

Various motorcycle charging systems (full wave/half wave)

MOSFET regulator upgrade

The regulator/rectifier (#7) at the top is under the seat next to the battery.  I'm going to remove, clean and reinstall that.  

The big parts on a bike's charging system are astonishingly expensive!  Replacing an alternator with a quality rebuilt parts will cost you about $170CAD.  To do the rotor, stator and regulator/rectifier on the Tiger would cost me the better part of two grand Canadian!  Some of that might be old-Triumph price gouging, but it's ironic that all the online explanations describe motorcycle charging systems as built down to a price when it's clearly built up to one... on a mountain.  But there are options...

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Triumph Tiger 955i: checking your motorcycle alternator and replacing a regulator rectifier

I tested the Tiger's alternator today. This is found under the round cover on the bottom left side of the bike.  I've lined up a MOFSET regulator/rectifier for the Tiger after some concise and clear advice from PSPB's FB forum where you always get clear advice instead of a bunch of internet mouth-breathers jumping in with what they don't know.

The Triumph OEM reg-rectifier isn't available and costs nearly $400 while also being an inefficient silicon controlled rectifier (SCR) shunt type reg-rectifier.  The one coming is a metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) based unit that is both faster and more efficient both thermally and in terms of providing steady voltage to the battery.  

With a new reg-rectifier coming, I took the advice on PSPB's FB forum and tested the alternator.  To make sure you're getting clean AC power you test the three wires going into the alternator for resistance (they should all show similar resistance between them).  The result was a steady 0.5ohms across all the connectors, which bodes well.

The final test is to make sure nothing is showing infinite resistance to ground on the bike.  Once again the alternator in the bike showed good wiring with no infinite resistance to ground on any of the wires:

The next step will be to wire up the new reg-rectifier when it gets here (should be early next week) and then see how things go.  The one I was able to find is wired for my specific Triumph (though Triumphs and Ducatis from the era both seemed to share the same unit).  With the new reg-rectifier wired up I should be good to go with the Tiger again and hopefully the (new over the winter) battery isn't having to carry the bike like it was and I won't have the stalling issues that have been plaguing me.


The reg-rectifier came in from Amazon right quick and I just installed it.  Having just brimmed the tank I didn't want to get the 24 litre monster off again to install it, and installing it with the tank in is tricky, but I managed it.

The kit came with replacement connectors, which is good because the ones on the bike disintegrated when I took them apart.  I was liberal with the dielectric grease and it all went together well.

I fired up the bike and it's now producing a very steady 13.9v and when I rev the engine nothing changes (before it would drop to barely 12.1v suggesting that while the motor was spinning above idle the battery wasn't being charged.  I didn't run the bike hot as I was in the garage with an impending thunderstorm going on outside but the readings I got suggest the strange electrics are resolved.

If you're experiencing regulator rectifier issues usually shown through an overcharging or undercharging (as was my case) battery, look up MOSFET type reg/rectifiers for your model of bike and save yourself a lot of time and money trying to chase down OEM replacements that simply don't exist.

The plan is still on to get the Tiger to 100,000kms by the time it turns 20 years old in 2023.

I wish Blogger weren't so stingy with headers or I'd alternate between the Tiger TMD logo and the new Concours TMD logo as I now have two functional and quite different bikes on the road.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Mechanical Sympathy

At the end of a twisty road, deep in the hills, the shop of my dreams...
courtesy of, it's easy to play with, give it a whirl!
Since doing bodywork on my first bike, I've remembered how much I enjoy doing it.  The new shop will be a working paint shop with a booth and an oven capable of power coating parts.


Open faced paint booth:

Price:  $2599

PAASCHE HSSB-30-16 30" Paint Spray booth

Price: $525


DSA800SE-GL2 30L (8gal) 1600W dual 20/40KHz Ultrasonic parts cleaner

20 Gallon Heavy Duty  solvent parts cleaner


Anderson Motorcycle Stand

Industrial Air

60 Gallon Electric Air Compressor
24x27in footprint

accessories (hoses, connectors)

High Volume Low Pressure paint gun

California Air Tools SP-324 HVLP paint gun

Lincoln Electric Handy Mig Welder Kit

Lincoln Electric Cutwelder

$330+tanks $300

It's a work in progress.  Wouldn't this be a nice thing to retire into?

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Triumph Tiger 955i Fuel Injector Cleaning

We're seeing temperatures in the low -20s these days and waves of snow passing through creating banks that are hard to see over.  To quote the Penguins of Madagascar...

The roads themselves are sanded and snow covered too.  We've got a major storm rolling in tonight that looks like it'll pitch another 48 hours of the white stuff at us.

At this time of year I tend to be in a mood as it's been far too long since I've leaned into any corners.  Compounding the lack of riding is the tricky nature of trying to find parts for the old Triumph Bonneville in order to keep that project purring along.  What parts there are pretty damned expensive too.  I'll get back into it soon enough, but in the meantime I thought I'd give the new (er) Triumph's fuel injectors a cleaning.

I've been in and out of the Tiger so many times that it's second nature.  The tank removal process (which is pretty complicated involving removing 4 panels and many awkward fasteners) can be done (blindfolded!) in about 10 minutes.

Last year I installed a new regulator/rectifier, but didn't install it properly because I didn't want to dismantle the whole lot.  The first job was to properly fasten it down.

The second job was to remove the fuel rail.  This is easy on the 955i Tiger (two bolts), but one was threaded (having a 19 year old bike as my regular runner does produce some headaches).  A cunningly installed second nut on the back of the threaded one had it all back together tight though.

For the fuel injectors I heated up the ultrasonic cleaner to 65°C and ran the vibrations for 20
minutes before cleaning them up with fuel cleaner.  The injector nozzles are very fine, so even a small piece of gunk getting past the fuel filter could cause headaches.

Once cleaned and sorted I press fitted the injectors back into the rail and reinstalled it back onto the bike.  The injectors press fit (there are thick rubber gaskets on each end) into the metal injector body on the bike too.  The only tricky bit was sorting out that threaded mounting bolt, but there is space behind the rail for a second nut and it did the trick.  While I was in there I cleaned all the electrical connections and put dielectric grease on the connectors to keep everything neat and dry.

It all went back together well and I had the tank back on and the Tiger back in hibernation before it knew what had happened to it.  I'm hoping the cleaning sorts a slow starting issue that developed after I solved the stalling issue last summer.

The old Tiger's fuel injection is one of the crankiest things about it.  Early mechanical fuel injection is famously, um, personality ridden.  The latest (delightful?) bit of character is having to lean on the starter motor for several seconds before it fires.  It used to fire at the touch of the starter, so I'm hoping to get that back again.

We're in the middle of semester turnover and I haven't had time to chase the old Triumph parts guys (who like to do things old school on a telephone), but that's next on the list of things to do before the weather breaks and I can lean into a corner again.